Hamilton believe that the subject of human reproduction and relationships merits particular attention in the Upper Key Stage 2 years, most likely to be covered in Year 6. This Topic covers key aspects of those subjects in pairs of thoughtful, nuanced and age-appropriate planning for sessions on some of the challenging issues arising from consideration of similarities and differences, lifecycles, life choices and sexual health and pregnancy.
The first two pre-sessions are an introduction to the topic. This sessions helps chn appreciate that there are many physical differences between plants & animals (including humans) that are not necessarily good or bad nor important to function or ability.
Look in more detail at differences between people living in Britain. Discuss our multi-cultural society. Share poems in We are Britain by Benjamin Zephaniah to inspire children to write poems about themselves. Can children recognise their own Wanted poster?
Set up ground rules for this topic. Revise knowledge of life cycles of butterflies, frogs which both involve metamorphosis and flowering plants. Discuss reasons for reproduction and consider animals facing extinction. Start reading Flour Babies.
Using the riddle of the Sphinx as a starting point, look in detail at the human life cycle and compare the stages with those of other animals. Look at the range of different gestation periods and life spans; draw graphs and look for patterns. Begin research.
Children consider the development that they have undergone since they were babies. Draw a timeline of their lives so far. Continue research into the life stages of another animal concentrating on how quickly the babies develop. Have a baby photo challenge!
Look at the proportions of a human adult as shown by Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man. Investigate the shape changes between a baby and an adult human, concentrating on the head to body length ratio. Measure & draw graphs. Sketch children and adults in proportion.
Look at the physical changes that take place during puberty. Some are seen easily, e.g. growing taller and broader, hair around genitals and under arms, etc. Also discuss menstruation and wet dreams and rites of passage in different cultures on reaching puberty.
Look at the emotional changes in puberty. Use drama to act out typical scenarios involving parents and teenagers; look at the different viewpoints and discuss how compromise can ease situations. Look at the meaning of friendships and where help can be found.
Explain to children that they are going to be challenged to look after a Flour Baby for a week as in Anne Fine’s book. Set up ground rules and name their Flour Babies. Discuss how names are chosen and the meanings and significance of both first names and family names.
Think about all the different relationships that children have/will have with other people, leading to a discussion about marriage. Research marriage customs in different cultures. Children return to timelines and predict hopes and expectations for their future lives.
Changes at puberty prepare our bodies to have children of our own. Look in more detail at human fertilisation and pregnancy and learn how important it is for mother-to-be to look after her health. Look at baby growth in utero and explain function of umbilical cord.
Watch a video of a birth and discuss other forms of delivery such as Caesarean or forceps deliveries. Discuss how the parents’ lives will now change and relate this to children’s Flour Babies experience. Research birth rites of passage in different cultures.
Have discussion about contraceptives as a way of preventing an unwanted pregnancy, but also explain that they can help protect against STI/Ds. Use drama to practise saying no to peer pressure for smoking, alcohol or drugs. Children design warning labels.
Discuss one STD/I in more detail – HIV/Aids. Ensure children understand the difference between having the virus and the syndrome. Watch a video by children living with an HIV mother and discuss stigma involved with HIV/Aids. Look at statistics and discuss Memory Books and World Aids Day.